Liz’s life: Making memories
Liz shares a personal insight into her life in her regular column in Liz Earle Wellbeing Magazine. In this edition, Liz explains how lockdown has made her cherish family time more than ever before.
It’s my birthday this month and this year has been another odd one. It’s the second in a row with significant social restrictions and fewer friends and family to share it with. Not a celebratory day to look back on with any great glee. Despite this, there have been glimmers of good cheer, especially when it comes to remembering happier, freer times.
The pretty pink and fragrant buds on the Albertine rose bush that grows in my parents’ garden appear like clockwork on my birthday. My mother normally picks a few blooms for me, together with a small sprig of lily of the valley. These last two years she’s asked a local florist to leave this tiny posy on my doorstep, together with a note from her. It’s a small but heartfelt gesture that I truly cherish.
Similarly, my favourite presents from her over the years have been the tiny embroidered lavender cushions that now fill my lingerie drawers. Packed with homegrown lavender and stitched with motifs of birds and flowers, they’re truly special. What’s more, they’re so much more meaningful than anything she could have shop-bought.
Appreciating the little things
I’ve been finding more meaning in the smallest things. Like the laminated coaster Brella made, aged ten, for Mother’s Day, that still sits beside my bed a decade on; the picture of pressed flowers collected from the local park made by Lily, which hangs above the fireplace – and countless other small notes and pictures from the boys, all carefully preserved in an archive box tucked under my bed.
Taking a moment to sit on the floor sifting through these continues to be one of my greatest pleasures. I now keep similar archive boxes for each of my children. These are filled with everything from school reports to birthday cards, letters from elderly relatives long gone, fading photographs, menu cards, concert tickets, theatre programmes and other special event memorabilia.
During devastating lockdowns, these happy memories of joyful gatherings – and the hope of more to come – helped keep us all going.
As we begin to break free and get back to the ‘old normal’, I’m determined to keep finding joy in the smallest things. I’ve treasured these special memories all the more in recent months and will be sure to make more memories now with those I love. No more taking the warmth of friendship and familial love a bit for granted.
I’m going to be doing my best to make sure that every social contact, from reuniting with family to finally seeing far-flung friends, is going to be fully enjoyed, to the max, by all.